Late Night Tacos de Lengua

By • June 6, 2011 • 5 Comments

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Author Notes: I was born & raised in McAllen on the Texas/Mexico border. When I was in high school, the thing to do on Saturday night was to go to Reynosa to have drinks at Trevino's then dancing at Eddie's. They played Rock & Roll and never carded ANYBODY. Late night we would stumble out of the club where there was a strategically parked taqueria selling varios types of tacos. The most popular was "tacos de lengua" but in my youth there wasn't a chance in hell that I would eat that (though my father cooked tongue and I would often find one in the fridge just lying on a plate). I have expanded my horizons since then, but have never cooked tongue until now (thanks to the encouragement of a friend at work who's from Brownsville and the food52 recipe contests). I served this with a cilantro sour cream which is not at all what you'd get on the street in Reynosa. They might have offered grilled onions and some salsa-definitely no frills.nannydeb

Serves 4-6


  • 1 1-2 pound beef tongue
  • 1/2 yellow onion, corsely chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, cut in half
  • 3 cloves garlic, whole
  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed, slightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bottle Negra Modelo
  • sliced bell pepper and onions, optional
  • corn and/or flour tortillas, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place the tongue in a cast iron dutch oven with the rest of the ingredients. Add enough water to about the halfway point on the tongue. Bring it to a boil.
  3. Cover the pot and bake in the oven for about 3-3 1/2 hours or until fork tender. I flipped mine half way through. Set aside to cool a bit.
  4. Once cool enough to handle, remove the outer layer of skin and slice thinly.
  5. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the sliced tongue with the peppers and onions until browned, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Serve on hot tortillas with cilantro sour cream, salsa and the rest of the Negra Modelo.

Cilantro Sour Cream

  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3/4-1 cups sour cream (depending on how potent you want it)
  • salt to taste
  1. Toss all ingredients in the food processor and blend.
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Tags: mexican, tacos

Comments (5) Questions (0)


over 2 years ago atlacm1

We've been going to an authentic Mexican restaurant just so we could have Tacos de Lengua. I was tired of having to always go out to get them, so picked up some tongue today from my local grass fed beef supplier. This recipe sounds delicious -- can't wait to try it. Looks like we'll be having tacos sometime this weekend. I'll let you know how they come out. Thanks!


over 3 years ago LornaFarris

I LOVE tongue tacos and want to make them for my birthday fiesta in a couple of weeks :-) I've been searching for a good recipe... And this looks fabulous! Love the idea of the cilantro sour cream...


over 3 years ago nannydeb

thanks! Even the people who didn't want tongue gobbled up the cilantro sour cream. It was tasty.


over 3 years ago lapadia

Love these!


over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I used to find a tongue in my Grandpa's fridge too! This recipe might actually get me to try one ... it sounds fabulous. Another Negra Modelo please!